Last night, Evan really wanted to go to a movie. There were about half a dozen things currently in the theater that I was fairly interested in seeing, so I told him that he could pick whatever he wanted. He did a quick calculation to determine what the likelihood of seeing the various theater offerings were without the “whatever he wanted” card and quickly bought tickets to “The Descent.” If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that I am a little tiny baby about watching scary movies and Evan was very aware that his chances of seeing this movie at a later date were a quarter to never.
I don’t want to spoil the movie for any of my blog readers that do enjoy having films terrorize them, but the film opens with a white water rafting scene which immediately took away any ease I might have had going into the movie. I used to really enjoy white water rafting. My first two fall semesters at Reed I took a white water rafting class. During the class my sophomore year, my designated boat lacked any strong leadership or strong forearms for that matter, so we hit a few hazards and nearly missed quite a few more. I started having nightmares about a particular rapid that I knew we would ride the final trip. The called it “thecheesegrater ” because if you fell out of the boat the rocks were known to completely shred your skin. It required some technical skill and the boat needed to act as a cohesive unit if we were going to get through it. At the last minute I decided to sit out the rapid. My boat (without me) navigated the rapid without incident, but I was still glad that I had sat the rapid out, as I was still convinced that something bad would have happened if I had been in the boat.
The next rafting trip I took was the following summer with Evan and Ian (my future brother-in-law) in these little individual Tahiti canoes. They were hard to manuever and at one point, a kayaker cut across my path to avoid a rock in the midlde of the Rogue river. The rock had a big tree growing out the top on it, with branches draped into the water on either side. I ended up trapped under the branches, with my stupid canoe filling with water. For a while, I used my paddle to push against the major branch, to stay above the water. I thought that if I pushed hard enough, I could get my boat out from under the tree and move around it. Unfortunately, I pushing against the force of the swiftly moving river and this didn’t work.
I remember hoping that someone would come along and throw me a rope or do something to get me out of my precarious position. I remember thinking about Evan having to call my mom and tell her I had drowned on a stupid rafting trip on a river that people typically navigate on inner tubes. Realizing that I was going to have to save myself, I eventually broke off enough small branches of the tree with my paddle so that I could lay down in the raft and scoot under the tree to safety. I lost my paddle in the fight against the tree and thus had to negotiate the remainder of the trip, sobbing and without any way to control my boat. I’ve gone rafting only one time after this experience and I cried during nearly every rapid and pretty much freaked out if there were any strainers near by (trees with branches growing in the water). I haven’t gone rafting since.
If you want to know how the movie was, you’ll have to ask Evan. After the first sign of the film’s river rafters, I immediately closed my eyes and plugged my ears so I did not have to witness any impending doom. I did watch enough of the film to decide that while it has been billed a movie about empowered women, it didn’t make me feel empowered, and I don’t think the women in the film felt particularly empowered either.